BELGRADE – The elections held on Sunday cannot be qualified as fair or free where a number of citizens are concerned, wherefore they cannot reflect the genuine electoral will of Serbia’s citizens, undermining the legitimacy of institutions that will be formed based on these election results and of any decisions they take, said a statement signed by 20 civil society organizations in Serbia.
CSOs emphasized that the elections were totally delegitimised by grave irregularities, numerous abuses, breaches of election rights, rules and procedures, election controllers’ reports and materials leaked before and on election day, problems with election registers, and the tickets endorsed by the Belgrade City Election Commission despite evidence that at least half (7 out of 14) them were based on forged voter support statements.
According to the statement, international observers within the joint OSCE/ODIHR mission, including representatives of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, also pointed out the irregularities during the election campaign, including misuse of public resources and national broadcasters, the absolute domination of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić in the media, and attacks on journalists and civil society organisations.
„We believe that the citizens’ electoral will was not respected at the 17 December elections and that the relevant institutions must review the possibility of annulling the elections and repeating them in circumstances in which all the enumerated irregularities will be eliminated. That is the only way Serbia’s institutions will demonstrate that they respect the principle of the rule of law and the electoral will of Serbia’s citizens“, a statement concluded.
The statement is signed by the following organizations: Association Krokodil, Association of Women Sandglass, Astra, Atina NGO, Autonomous Women’s Centre, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Centre for Contemporary Politics, Centre for Judicial Research CEPRIS, Center for Dignified Work, Centre for Cultural Decontamination CZKD, Civic Initiatives, CRTA, European Movement in Serbia, FemPlatz, Mental Disability Rights Initiative MDRI-S, Novi optimizam, Partners Serbia. PIN – Psychosocial Innovation Network, SOS Women’s Center, Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, SOS Women’s Center, YuRom.